Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The Roman games :: History
The Roman games Question : Who were the spectators at Roman games? Discuss the relationship between them and the performers they watched. Gladiator fights were first introduced to Rome in 264 BC, when the sons of Junius Brutus paid honor to their father's funeral by showing three pairs of gladiators fight. This ritual caught on and was performed to honor significant men. As the years passed, the ceremonies became more promoted and emperors began to present the games to symbolize their power. The citizens of Rome loved to go to these bloody warfares. In the city of Rome, these events were held in the Colosseum. An arena so large that it could hold 50,000 spectators and host fights between men and animals. Gladiatorial games occupied a central role in society. Sponsored during the republic by rich magistrates and later in the Empire by the Emperors themselves, the games have long been called an election tool. The games in Rome are known today as the bloodiest exhibitions of public entertainment known to mankind. Men, Women and children flocked to the Colosseum to watch the bloodthirsty fighters murder one another. The spectators came from all over the Roman Empire and various other regions, like Africa. The games became a way of entertaining the wealthy, as well as the common people. "Gladiator", comes from the latin word "gladius", for sword. They were primarily made up of slaves, criminals, prisoners of war or even volunteer free men. The crimes that could lead one to the arena included treason, robbery, and murder, among others. Some free men became gladiators of their own free will in hopes of gaining notoriety and patronage amongst the wealthy citizens. By the end of 50 BC almost half of the gladiators fighting in the Colosseum were free men. The gladiators competed against one another for the sake of public entertainment at festival games. Although some gladiators fought wild animals, the combats usually featured a pair of male human contenders. They fought in diverse styles depending on their background and how much training they had endured. Originally as captured soldiers, they were made to fight with their own weopons. There were also strong sexual references to the gladiator. The word gladius, for sword, was used to mean penis, their helmets were also, occasionally, shaped in the form of a phallus. Even the dead, defeated gladiator, had something sexual about him.